The iPad 3, or maybe the iPad HD, will be announced today, and then we’ll all have to get back to whatever it is we did before we started debating the structural properties of LTE chips and tablet chassis. In the meantime, here’s a handful of things to speculate that do not involve Retina Displays or magical new features.
iOS 6 to feature, well, something new
Source: CNET, which willfully confuses “What to expect” and “rumors” with “stuff I think would be handy.”
Details: CNET’s Jason Parker seems to gather his items from his list of grievances with Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system, not so much pure rumors. But some of them have been the subject of speculation. Multitasking is due for a change, Siri could reach other devices, the Maps app could change entirely, and Facebook integration is always on the table.
Likelihood: “Multitasking,” as Parker describes it, is a problem for Apple, in as much as Apple’s own Genius support staff have been known to tell customers to double-click their home buttons and “kill” apps to improve performance (it doesn’t, unless an app has gone haywire). Siri was made for a specific signal processing chip on the iPhone 4S (and maybe today’s iPad 3/HD) that can single out human voices from background noise, without having to hold the phone too close, so backwards-compatibility with the iPhone 4 is unlikely. The Maps app is due to change, as Apple didn’t purchase a 3D mapping company for nothing. And Facebook integration is likely a matter of negotiation of customer data sharing, which Facebook could, presumably, give in on if it really wanted tighter integration with the iPhone.
Get excited?: For Maps and multitasking improvements? Yes. For everything else? Eh.
Netflix in talks to become a cable service
Details: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has met with cable company executives to discuss the possibility of Netflix being added to set-top boxes as a package add-on.
Likelihood: Netflix has been disruptive, but it’s never been their mission to tear down cable companies and lead the cable-cutting charge. So it’s very likely that Hastings is not walking away from making the service he sees as the future available in almost every home in the U.S.
Get excited?: Mixed feelings! Good for Netflix, and their non-cable-tied offerings will always be there, presumably. But those of us who inadvertently see Netflix as a leader in the digital future might feel a bit confused.
$200 Nexus Tablet to arrive this summer
Source: Android and Me
Details: Two sources at MWC were discussing a 7-inch tablet that would fall under the Nexus label, offering a standard Android 4.0 “Google Experience,” and run on a quad-core Tegra 3 processor from NVidia. The most prominent detail is the price: $199. But there might also be a cloud storage component, both to launch the “G Drive” service and to keep storage costs down.
Likelihood: Around 70 percent, given the similarities in a few different rumors from parts makers. But the Google Drive/Google Play guesses seem more like “Wouldn’t it be nice” than “It sure seems likely.”
Get excited?: Does the Kindle Fire feel right in your hands? If so, then a more highly-powered version of it that runs more apps should be a win.
Now read this: